Title page for ETD etd-07282008-080435

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mashiane, Mafabo Andries Bernard
Email amashiane@cybertrade.co.za
URN etd-07282008-080435
Document Title An assessment of the constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in southern Africa within the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the South African Constitution Act 108/1996
Degree MA(Theology) Church History
Department Church History and Church Polity
Advisor Name Title
Prof J W Hofmeyr Supervisor
  • church and the freedom of assembly and demonstrati
  • church and the bill of rights
  • church and application of rights
  • ECLSA constitution
  • church and labour relations act
  • ELCSA non-compliance
  • church and children’s rights
  • church and the courts
  • church and freedom of information
  • equality and biblical tone on equity
Date 2006-05-04
Availability unrestricted
The constitution of ELCSA was adopted in the constitutional assembly held on 15 to 19 December 1975 at Rustenburg, Tlhabane. The constitution of South Africa was adopted on 08 May 1996 and amended on 11 October 1996 by the constitutional assembly. It is obvious from this situation that the ELCSA constitution was put together and adopted during the rule of the National Party in consideration of the constitution of South Africa at the time. This suggests that the bill of rights was not taken into account when the constitution of ELCSA was written.

The church‘s top down management system of administration is questionable. The harmony of rights and the ELCSA constitution was tested. The labour relations requirements are not taken into consideration by the ELCSA constitution given the procedures followed to add in addressing employee disputes.

The ELCSA constitution was critically evaluated for compliance. The areas of the South African Constitution that were not considered at the initial stage of the church constitution were identified during the study. It is imperative though that the Church should not find her self-making concessions on issues that are contrary to Christian beliefs and norms that form the basis of the faith.

Dr Martin Luther’s two kingdoms provided some guidance when the church was under pressure regarding certain issues that are required by the law of the country. Particularly the church does not condone abortion.

In this study it was established that some areas require the church to mobilise and challenge the state.

The study is concluded by a discussion of areas that present conflict between the church and legal requirements, areas that the church is omitting to do and areas that the church has to take a stand on. This discussion included recommendations that the church has to consider ensuring that legislation is complied with and that there is no conflict with the church constitution.

© University of Pretoria 2005

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